Have you ever had one of those days you wake up grumpy, get around taking care of things, and by the end of the day you feel like « Where the hell did my day go? What have I accomplished today? Certainly none of the things I had planned too. »
Don’t lie to me, I know you’ve had days like these too (I’m not alone, am I ?)
Make babies they said…
If there’s one thing that can throw you out of your well-oiled routine, it’s a baby. This little (yet adorable) rascal is the reason why I’ve been in a funk the past couple of months. I love him to bits, but oh boy, did he throw me off my game.
It’s not my first rodeo, however, this time is really different… First, because he’s a different baby with a different personality, rhythm, sleeping pattern, etc. (and he won’t sleep for god’s sake !) But also because I have to deal with the older one too which is energy and time-consuming.
So, always the optimist, I thought ok, this is how it will roll… Baby will be taken care of by the nanny from February 2 and I’ll be back in business by February 20 as usual…
This did not happen.
I overestimated my ability to function without sleep, I had too many projects on my list, I felt overwhelmed. I simply wanted to hit the snooze button every single morning and sleep for hours…
Forget the kids, they’ll take care of themselves, wake up, get dressed, eat their breakfast and go to school (or the nanny) on their own. They’re not my responsibility anymore. I did enough.
And the business? Who cares? It can wait… We’ll pay the bills next month.
That’s what was running through my head… but of course the reality is I do have responsibilities, I do have things to do, the kids can’t take care of themselves yet and I have a business to grow.
So I took the kids where they were supposed to go and had a whole day in front of me to tackle this big to do list… and I did… nothing ! (or at least it felt like nothing). I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t know how the hell I was supposed to get through this ginormous list. What was important? what was not? I’m only one person how am I supposed to do all that?
That is stress ladies and gentlemen
Of course there was not many more things on my list than there usually is. But my perception of my abilities to tackle them was really really REALLY low. I lacked energy, I lacked confidence. And that my friends is the exact definition of stress: a perceived imbalance between what is asked of us and our perception of our abilities to do it.
Which happens to be ironic, since one of the most urgent and important item on my list was to design and prepare a two day training on stress management techniques! Oh my did I feel inadequate.
And that’s when my body decided to turn against me and catch a pharyingitis.
So well, anyway… How did I get out of that funk? I didn’t completely do it yet to be honest… but I’m on my way.
I decided to start applying the stress management techniques I taught last week to myself and I’m starting small. I’m starting with the Zorro circle as Shawn Achor talks about in his excellent book « The happiness advantage ».
The Zorro circle
Have you seen the movie the Mask of Zorro?
Do you remember Antonio Banderas as he was not yet Zorro being mentored by Anthony Hopkins? Hopkins drew a small circle with his sword around Banderas and told him that this circle was his responsibility. He could only fight within this circle and only once he would master control of the circle he could expand his mastery beyond it. And little by little the circle grew wider as his abilities and confidence grew… until he became Zorro and did the incredible things we know he is capable of.
That’s the technique I’m using to get back on track. My Zorro circle starts with making sure every morning my house is in order.
It’s not really that important considering what else I have to get done, but I get a feeling of accomplishment just by doing that.
I’m in charge. I’m in control. I’m able.
Then I grow my circle, I tackle small administrative tasks that help me grow more confidence.
You get the idea.
Of course, you may be thinking my main projects are not taken care of yet. But look at that… after only a couple of days of using that technique, I’m already writing a new blog post, the first of 2017 !! I never thought I’d be able to tackle this one task so soon.
And that’s only because I feel more confident and in control and got the inspiration to share my struggle… after all, even if you don’t have an infant sucking the energy out of you, you might also feel off track!
What about you?
So there you go guys. What are your techniques to get out of a funk? How can the Zorro circle help you do that? Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to know how you do it.